Review of the Album Osculum Obscenum by Swedish Death Metal Band Hypocrisy
What Is the Musical Style of Osculum Obscenum?
Swedish death metal band Hypocrisy may be one of the lesser known bands in the death metal genre but they have shown me that they began their career in pretty good fashion. Their second studio album called Osculum Obscenum released in 1993 continues in the style of their debut album Penetralia. As usual, with some of these early death metal albums, the vocals are hard to understand without referring to the lyrics to know what is being said. The vocals are of a lower, deeper guttural growl and they are not like those of David Vincent of Morbid Angel on the Covenant album. Even so, the album is melodic enough for its time and there is definite double bass drumming present here as well.
The Song Titles May Be Outrageous Though
The title of the first song Pleasure of Molestation is well, a bit over the top but that’s what these early death metal bands did when they were coming up with names for songs. The song starts off in an atmospheric fashion, similar to that of Cradle of Filth before the guttural vocals and double bass drums kick in. The album’s title is the Latin word for obscene kiss. This first song has a sort of atmospheric sound and it sounds like a suspenseful kind of song and then what seems like a sudden change the guitars start and the heavy growls come in.
How Is the Title Track?
As for the title track of this album, the song has this repetitive fast, heavy picking style as the song lyrically is about the entry of demonic forces. The drums speed up and this instance, it is not double bass drums but just the regular fast style. The guttural growl by Masse Broberg is for a few seconds as the growl of “Osculum Obscenum” is heard. I think that the album’s title is a satirical kind of way to describe a kiss because how can a kiss be obscene? And actually, another interesting discovery by me is that Hypocrisy would eventually influence the vocal style of the band Kalmah. This is because for those of you that remember albums such as “The Black Waltz, those vocals were not only heavy, but you could say they were rough and harsh as well.
There Is a Cover Song that Hypocrisy Performs On This Album
There is a cover performance of the song Black Metal and this one was originally written by the band Venom. The song might as well be about rocking to the tunes of black metal as the amp is turned up really loud!
How Are the Other Songs?
Inferior Devoties is a song that is highly critical of Jesus Christ and his teachings. Hypocrisy isn’t a band that is Satanic but the lyrics in their early career were about hell and Satanism so for those of you that cannot tolerate these evil lyrics then stay away from this album. Next we have the song Infant Sacrifices and by now it is evident what Hypocrisy’s musical approach has been for this album. It has been a constant formula of heavy guttural vocals combined with raspy growls and double bass drums combined with evil, dark lyrics. This album may be the darkest sounding album in Hypocrisy’s career. Attachment to the Ancestor sees Hypocrisy slow down the riffing considerably and then there is acoustic guitar that complements the heavy riffing. Althotas pretty much ends this album here. For an early death metal album, Osculum Obscenum is a pretty decent release but the riffs and songwriting still are not good enough to match “The Fourth Dimension” likely the best album of Hypocrisy.
© 2019 Ara Vahanian